‹ Maneesh Madambath

Reading - Books & Essays

Aug 20, 2020

Here are the Books and Essays I am reading split year-wise. They are not recommendations but I have marked the ones I liked a lot in bold. The books are not sorted in any particular order. All books and essays are listed only after I finish reading.

Also, sometimes there will be an affiliate link attached to the books. On most occasions I try and link to the most convenient (for me) and value adding destination (for you).

A Newsletter for Readers

I run a weekly newsletter called Bombay Daak, where we talk about the tangents that my reading opens up.

You can read more about it here.

Books & Essays


  1. Left Hand Of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin
  2. Big Sur - Jack Kerouac
  3. Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari(Audiobook)
  4. Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman (audiobook)
  5. These Errors Were Correct
  1. Notes on “Taste”
  2. The Maintenance Race
  3. A history attached to space
  4. Newsletters
  5. We don’t have a hundred biases, we have a wrong model
  6. Reinventing the peach, pimento and regional identity
  7. How to think beyond ourselves
  8. Specifying Spring
  9. The secret to immersive travel 10.I, Pencil
  10. Paper Lion
  11. Writing and Lightness
  12. The World’s Best Investor’s - Nick Roditi
  13. Pico Iyer on Travel


  1. Sleeping on the Wing - Kenneth Koch
  2. Atomic Habits - James Clear
  3. Moonraker - Ian Fleming
  4. Open City - Teju Cole
  5. Parker: The Hunter - Richard Stark & Darwyn Cooke
  6. Delhi Mostly Harmless - Elizabeth Chatterjee
  7. Recursion - Blake crouch
  8. Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky


  1. Low - Jeet Thayil
  2. Bihar is in the Eye of the Beholder - Vijay Nambisan
  3. Bread, Cement, Cactus - Annie Zaidi
  4. English - Poems by Jeet Thayil
  5. Everything Begins Elsewhere - Poems by Tishani Doshi
  6. The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
  7. The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce - I keep thinking about it, months after reading it.
  8. The Invention of Morel - Adolfo Bioy Casares
  9. Writing Badly is Easy - Amitava Kumar
  10. Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
  11. Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  12. Everyday is for the Thief - Teju Cole - I surprise myself on how much I remember of this novella.
  13. The Black dwarves of Good Little Bay
  14. Fires - Raymond Carver - Buy it just for the poetry and it is still worth every penny
  15. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
  16. The Mystery of the Three Quarters - Sophie Hannah
  17. The Festival of Insignificance - Milan Kundera
  18. Ward no 6 and Other Stories - Anton Chekov
  19. The Books of the Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin - A balm, a magic, and that’s not just in the stories. I haven’t been transported to a world the way Le Guin did with Earthsea.
  20. These Were my Homes - Vijay Nambisan
  21. 60 Indian Poets - Edited by Jeet Thayil
  22. The Parameters of our Cage - C. Fuasto Cabrera and Alec Soth
  23. Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky
  24. Zero to One - Peter Thiel
  25. Breath - by James Nestor
  1. On Bloom’s Two Sigma Problem
  2. Teach yourself Italian - Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. Ideas are getting hard to find
  4. How to Understand Things
  5. Optical Insights into Renaissance Arts


  1. Mr Mercedes - Stephen King
  2. Dreyer’s English - Benjamin Dreyer
  3. The Master and the Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov - a Favourite
  4. Latitudes of Longing - Shubhangi Swaroop
  5. Tales from a Vending Machine - Anees Salim
  6. The Town that Laughed - Manu Bhattatiri
  7. Steppenwolf - Hermann Hesse
  8. Ram: The Scion of Ishvaku - Amish Tripathi
  9. The Zoya Factor - Anuja Chauhan
  10. Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh
  11. The Lady and the Monk
  1. Some Notes on the Novella - Ian McEwan
  2. A New York Writer’s Take on How His City Has Changes - Pete Hamill



In 2018 I read more on the craft of writing than anything else. In the process I also bent towards European writing.

  1. The Elements of Style - William Strunk
  2. Steering the Craft - Ursula K Le Guin
  3. The Shape of Fiction - Holt
  4. The Art of the Novel
  5. The Good Solider Sjvek
  6. The Calcutta Chromosome